Mesabi Daily News
Rep. Rick Nolan


Here’s the truth of the matter: Right here in Minnesota, we have the resources and capacity – better than perhaps anywhere in the world – to mine these strategic minerals and do it the right way. We have tremendous companies that are committed to creating good paying jobs for generations to come, and we have rigorous state and federal rules and regulations that protect our precious land, air and water. Needless to say, it is absolutely imperative that we continue to maintain and strengthen these environmental standards in the years to come, using all available science and technologies.

By way of example, the proposed Polymet project on the Iron Range has gone through twelve long years of rigorous approvals and reviews by numerous state and federal agencies, including the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and State Historic Preservation Office, the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Army Corps, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, as well as public hearings with Minnesota citizens and consultation with our Native American tribes.

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Mining People
Debra McCown Thomas

There’s excitement on the horizon for the mining industry in Minnesota, which is looking ahead to the promise of a big opportunity: an effort to mine the largest undeveloped copper-nickel deposit in the world.

Though perhaps not often in the spotlight, Minnesota is a big mining state–often in the nation’s top 5 in terms of the value of the minerals it produces–and has relied upon iron ore as an economic driver for more than a century. These yet-to-be-developed resources are located close to what has traditionally been the state’s iron-producing region.


The company closest to being ready to start work is PolyMet Mining Corp., whose NorthMet project is in its final permitting stages. According to the company’s website, PolyMet is “on track to be the first to commercially mine copper, nickel, and precious metals in Minnesota.”

Twin Metals […] is also progressing toward mining in the region.

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St. Paul, Minn. (Feb. 9, 2018) – On behalf of Jobs for Minnesotans, Range Association of Municipalities and Schools and Mining Minnesota, we, along with so many others, were saddened to learn today’s news that Congressman Nolan will be retiring. We are deeply thankful for his commitment and service to the people, businesses and communities of Minnesota’s 8th District and his fearless support of the Iron Range.

Congressman Nolan has consistently believed in fair process and good science, and championed the values and economic growth of the Iron Range. We cannot express enough of our appreciation for the work he has done on behalf of responsible, modern industries and the jobs they support. The loss of his voice and support in the U.S. Congress will be deeply felt by Northeastern Minnesota.

About Jobs for Minnesotans
Jobs for Minnesotans, a coalition representing business, labor and communities, supports statewide opportunities for prosperity and middle-class jobs from sustainable natural resource development in Minnesota. The organization is committed to the principle that our state can preserve both job opportunities and the environment for future generations. Jobs for Minnesotans was co-founded in 2012 by the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council representing 55,000 workers and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce representing 2,300 companies and 500,000 employees. For more information, visit, follow @JobsforMN on Twitter and find the coalition on

About RAMS
Range Association of Municipalities and Schools (RAMS) is comprised of 22 elected public officials from either a school district, a township board or a city council .along with two superintendents from a district within the boundaries of the Taconite Assistance Area of Northeastern Minnesota. The organization represents more than 72,000 residents and 49 public sector units of government, including 22 cities, 16 public school districts and 11 townships, in the 13,000 square mile Taconite Assistance Area (TAA) of northeast Minnesota. Learn more at

About Mining Minnesota
Mining Minnesota is committed to sustainable and environmentally responsible mining of copper, nickel and precious metals. Driven by a diverse coalition of organizations, companies and individuals, Mining Minnesota works with local citizens, businesses and other organizations to bring growth and job creation to the state through responsible development of natural resources. Mining Minnesota seeks to provide the facts about copper, nickel and precious-metals mining in our state and offer a way for people to get involved and show support. Learn more at


Media Contact: Nancy Norr, Chair
Office: 218.723.3905
Cell: 218.590.6978

Rock Solid Support PolyMet

February 8, 2018

Mesabi Daily News
Jerry Burnes

The scene was familiar, and so were the faces. At the first public comment hearing for the PolyMet permit to mine, the story was itself familiar as the mine’s supporters weighed in to state agencies over one of the final critical hurdles for the NorthMet project.


Aurora Mayor Dave Lislegard said PolyMet represented opportunities for the East Range to grow, pointing to a number of Mesabi East students in the audience. Those 30 students donned bright blue PolyMet T-shirts with “Tomorrow is Mine” on the back. Many of them weren’t born when the company began exploring and pitching the project to the state.

One of those students, Brandi Salmela, spoke during the public comment portion. Her grandfather was a miner and her father a construction worker on several of the area’s recent mining sites. She said a green light for PolyMet would continue the Range’s mining tradition for another generation.

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Duluth News Tribune
John Myers

For Brandi Salmela, a senior at Mesabi East High School, Wednesday night’s public meeting on the PolyMet copper mine, proposed about 10 miles from her school, was a chance to talk about the future of her town and her family.

Salmela was among about 30 Mesabi East students wearing bright blue PolyMet T-shirts emblazoned with “Tomorrow is Mine” who came as a group to show support for the project that has been on the drawing board longer than they have been alive.

Salmela said the state’s first-ever copper mine can provide the kind of jobs that support families and schools on the Iron Rage, which she called a unique and special place in Minnesota.

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